A group of students is hoping to put information about sexual and mental health resources in your pocket.
Lauren Cardenas, SEAS '16, with help from fellow members at the Community Health House, has organized the printing of 8,000 stickers that display the contact information of Sexual Violence Response and Counseling and Psychological Services. The stickers are designed to fit on the back of CUIDs.
Cardenas said the initiative was sparked by a poster with the contact information for these organizations on the back of a bathroom stall.
"I thought that was an inappropriate place to put the information—that it might serve as a trigger, and so that disturbed me a bit, and I started to reach out on Facebook and think about better ways to make these resources accessible," Cardenas said.
Cardenas said she was idly flipping through her wallet when she noticed a block of empty space on the back of her CUID next to the contact information for Columbia University Emergency Medical Services, formerly known as CAVA and Public Safety.
"Services like CPS and SVR are offered off-hours because there is a clear need for them. So why shouldn't their contact information be accessible off-hours as well? CAVA might be a good resource to have access to, but I don't think a survivor would want to reach out to a peer-run medical service because you might run into people you know," she said.
After designing the stickers, Cardenas brought her proposal to Residential Life, who sponsored the purchase of the stickers—which, at only a penny each, plus shipping and tax, came out to less than $90.
"We want to support students in the SICs to help fulfill the mission of that particular community," said John Shekitka, a Teachers College doctoral research fellow and graduate hall director of the East Campus Residence Hall, where Cardenas' SIC is located.
"At the more macro level, the more access and awareness we can bring to the offices than can assist students when they need help, the better," Shekitka said.
ResLife wasn't able to sponsor the distribution of the stickers, so Cardenas say she and her SIC-mates will be crashing resident advisor meetings in Columbia dorms this week to hand them out.
She also has long-term goals to persuade the ID Center in Kent to permanently print the CPS and SVR information on the back of all new CUIDs—but for now, her immediate concerns are a bit more down-to-earth.
"The stickers came two to a sheet, and we had to cut them all in half by hand. Right now, with my entire suite helping, we've got about 6,000 done."